Sunday, April 27, 2008

Lake Naivasha

I had some free time today, so I filtered through a few more photos from my trip to Africa this past winter. (Yes, 4 months later and I'm still not done.)

One of the places we visited was Lake Naivasha. We took a short boat trip out on the lake to see some hippos. The hippos turned out to be the least photogenic feature of the boat ride - they were mostly submerged under water with just a small bit of their head sticking out. But, there was a great number of other wildlife in and around the lake.

This is what the boat we used looked like.

And this is a bachelor hippo hanging out in water. One interesting fact about bachelor hippos - they are very protective of their space.

This same hippo is now charging our boat because we were getting a bit too close to his territorial waters.

This caused a bit of uneasiness amongst the people in the boat as the boat seemed like it could be quite easily flipped if bumped by a hippo. I asked the guide if he'd ever had his boat flipped by a hippo and he said no, but some members of our group remained unconvinced and were rather nervous for the rest of the boat ride.

This is a a yellow-billed stork that was hanging out on the shore.

And here are a group of men who were fishing with a large net. I liked this picture because there's a giraffe and a zebra in the background. It's a good illustration of just how plentiful the wildlife are in this lake area.

Here are a few more pictures of some yellow-billed stork which were flying overhead.

This is a great white pelican, with a couple of zebra in the background.

I don't know what these two birds are - they don't seem to appear in my Wildlife of East Africa book.

The same mystery bird - now flying:

This is an African fish eagle. It looks quite a bit like an American bald eagle, but the white covers more than just its head. The tree the eagle is on is one of the thorny varieties with two-inch long spikes.

This little guy is a squacco heron.

And these are Egyptian geese. In both the previous picture and this picture, note the water plants these birds are standing on. This plant was floating on the surface of much of the lake. The guide said it is not a native plant of the area and only recently had it been introduced. Now it's taking over the whole lake...

The is a Defasssa waterbuck and in the background is a grey heron.

Here's a great egret with Egyptian goose in the background.

This funky looking bird is called a sacred ibis.

Here's a waterbuck up close.

And finally, hanging out on the dock when we got back was a great cormorant. It looks a lot like the cormorants were have at the ocean here in Rhode Island. Just the coloring seems different.

It was amazing the amount of diversity in wildlife that could be seen on just a 50 minute boat ride. As usual, you can click on any of the above images to get a slightly larger view.